2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese calendar. Let’s celebrate it by creating a decorative card in Pixlr Pro! In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use Layer Styles to stylize the elements with patterns, shadows, shine, and stroke.

We’ll need some assets first:

Let’s prepare the assets. Open the pig in Pixlr Pro and go to Select > Color Range. Click the white background and adjust the Fuzziness to make the small pig image as dark as possible.

When you click OK, a selection will appear. Press Delete or Backspace to remove the selected area.

Use the same method to remove the background from the frame.

Open the pattern now. Go to Edit > Define New > Pattern. This will allow us to pick the pattern from the library of patterns.

Time to start the actual project. Go to File > New and pick the size of the file.

Double click the layer to open the Layer Style panel. Check Pattern Overlay and use our previously defined pattern. Adjust the Scale to create a nice background and press OK.

Use the Type Tool (T) to add a “2019” text. Use the itsadzoke font in size 391px.

Drag the text to the center. The guidelines will help you find the right spot.

Right click the text layer and select Rasterize. The use the Brush Tool (B) and fill the zero with black.

Double click the layer to open the Layer Style panel again. We’ll use it to make the number more ornamental. Check Pattern Overlay and pick a pattern that will add some nice texture to the numbers. You can use one of the default ones, or download something fancier and define it as a pattern as we did previously.

Add the Stroke and use a sunny, yellow pattern for it. Make the Stroke 4px wide.

You can make the stroke shiny by adding Bevel and Emboss with special settings. Select Stroke Emboss as the Style, pick a cool Contour, and adjust the other settings to your liking.

You can add Inner Shadow, too, to make the Stroke a little more 3D. Just keep it small and subtle!

Add Satin. It’s a little tricky to use, but experiment with different Contours, then Distance and Size to see what it does.

Finally, check Drop Shadow. Make it soft and not too dark.

The year is nicely stylized now, so let’s add the other elements. Copy and paste the pig, then use Control-Alt-T to resize it until it fits inside the 0.

Double click the pig layer and fill it with Pattern Overlay. Use the yellow pattern again.

Give it some subtle Drop Shadow…

… and add Satin to give it a gold-like shine.

Last but not least, add the frame and resize it to fit the rest of the image.

You can quickly add a Layer Style to it by right clicking the pig layer and selecting Layer Style > Copy, then Layer Style > Paste on the frame layer. Afterwards you can double click the layer to adjust the settings.

That’s all! Now you know how to create a card for Chinese New Year!